Leeds – Manchester City: It’s been so far, so good for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds in their return to the Premier League, but a visit from Man City to Elland Road is a stiffer test (Watch live at 12:30 pm ET Saturday on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).
Leeds fell 4-3 to Liverpool on Opening Day but has since beaten Fulham and Sheffield United to sit top half of the table in this very young Premier League season.
Man City fell 5-2 to Leicester City at home last weekend after beating Wolves to start their PL season. A midweek clean sheet of Burnley shows that Pep Guardiola’s men aren’t dead, and the Catalan mastermind will relish the chance to match wits with a man he hails as a role model in Bielsa.
Guardiola once called Bielsa the best manager in the world.
“Winning titles helps to have a job next season but at the end of your life, what you remember is not the titles you have won, what you remember is the memories you have and whether the manager taught you a lot,” Guardiola once said when asked about Bielsa. “What we remember are the experiences and the memories, the players you have had, the managers you have had. Marcelo is at the top of the list. Absolutely at the top of the list.”
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
Team news for Leeds – Manchester City (INJURY REPORT)
Leeds are without emerging star winger Jack Harrison, who is in his second season on loan to the club from Man City and ineligible to play against his parent club. Alioski comes in for Harrison.
📋 One change to the Starting XI as Alioski is drafted in for Harrison, who is ineligible for today's game
— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 3, 2020
Things are getting better for Manchester City, who got Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva back in a midweek League Cup win over Burnley and Laporte starts alongside new center back signing Ruben Dias.
Ferran Torres starts in attack with Mahrez, Sterling and Foden.
Still out are Gabriel Jesus (undisclosed), Sergio Aguero (knee), Joao Cancelo (foot), Ilkay Gundogan (COVID-19), and Oleksandr Zinchenko (undisclosed).
Here's your City line-up! 👀
STARTING XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Mendy, Rodrigo, De Bruyne (C), Foden, Mahrez, Sterling, Torres
SUBS | Steffen, Stones, Bernardo, Ake, Fernandinho, Delap, Palmer
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 3, 2020
What they’re saying
Leeds’ young goalkeeper Illan Meslier on keeping a clean sheet: “I’m happy because in the last game against Fulham I felt I could have saved the last two goals, but against Sheffield I saved two important chances and we arrived at half time at 0-0 which was important. It is just one game though, and we are focused on the next game now and then the one after that. For the spectators I think 4-3 games are better, but for the team and me it is better one-nil. We managed to do that on Sunday and win the game so it is all good.”
Man City boss Guardiola on new signing Ruben Dias: “We know Ruben Dias’s personality and I am sure he will be an incredible player for the next six or seven years. We’re very happy to have him. Our back four are now a young team. We start training tomorrow and get going as quick as possible.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
This line has probably become a lot tighter than it would’ve been in August since Leeds has burst onto the scene while Man City has been up-and-down (relatively speaking). Leeds is +675 to win at home and +440 to draw, while City is -290 to collect all three points.
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Leeds – Manchester City prediction
Leeds is a talented side and only getting better and deeper in terms of talent and experience. And Bielsa can plan for any opposition. But injured or not, City still has Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Raheem Sterling, and more. Man City 3-1.
How to watch Leeds – Manchester City stream and start time
Kickoff: 12:30 pm ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com